MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) - NATO’s official statement on the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine was sent by a junior NATO clerk by email, Rossiya Segodnya reported.
Igor Konashenkov, a representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, pointed out the junior rank of the official’s remarks, adding that the statement “was sent by the clerk to the authoritative news agency Reuters by ordinary email.”
Konashenkov joked that he next expects NATO statements “from cleaning ladies working at NATO headquarters, who will send the statements as text messages.”
The comment, made by NATO’s Lieutenant Colonel Jay Janzen to Reuters, stated that “there has been a significant pullback of Russian conventional forces from inside Ukraine, but many thousands are still deployed in the vicinity of the border.”
Speaking of the pullout of the phantom Russian forces, he added that “NATO welcomes these positive signs.”
Konashenkov believes that the junior official may have “decided to take his last crack at fame” ahead of the bureaucratic reshuffle that is slated to take place next month with Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s departure.
Rasmussen will leave his post as NATO Secretary General on October 1, and will be replaced by former Norweigen Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
Kiev, NATO and the Pentagon have repeatedly declared the presence of Russian military forces on Ukrainian territory in the last months. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called such statements “unfounded public insinuations,” and the Defense Ministry has likewise repeatedly disproved them. Eight International inspections have failed to show any violations of the border from the Russian side.
According to the UN, over 3,200 civilians have been killed and over 8,000 have beenwounded in Ukraine due to the conflict.